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‘At any point they could have fallen off and they would have died’ - Greater Anglia train driver issues stark warning ahead of anti train surfing campaign

PUBLISHED: 16:31 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:08 31 March 2017

Check before you travel. Picture: Archant Library.

Check before you travel. Picture: Archant Library.

Archant © 2012

A Greater Anglia train driver has described the moment he witnessed children climb out of a carriage moving at 80mph, risking their lives as part of a dangerous craze sweeping the region.

Greater Anglia driver Paul Herbert at Southend Victoria station. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA. Greater Anglia driver Paul Herbert at Southend Victoria station. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA.

It comes following a stark warning from the local train operator following a spate of ‘train surfing’ incidents.

Paul Herbert, who has been a driver for 15 years, said: “I have seen children climb between two trains that are joined together and travel at 80mph on bumpy track – at any point they could have fallen off and they would have died. All it takes is for them to slip, or one sudden movement, and they would be dead.

“If someone fell on the tracks and managed to avoid the train wheels, they would still be very badly injured or even crushed to death by the underneath of the train.”

Train surfing is where people put their lives at risk by holding onto the outside of the train and travel between stations. This dangerous stunt can result in serious injury or death.

As the school holidays approach, Greater Anglia is reminding people to be vigilant and take care when travelling by train.

Jay Thompson, head of safety, security and sustainability at Greater Anglia, said: “We investigate incidents of train surfing and report these to the British Transport Police and local schools in instances where we are able to identify the children’s uniforms.

“It goes without saying that is very dangerous to climb on the outside of trains and these people are putting their lives at risk.

“If anyone witnesses any instances of people climbing on trains, train surfing, or see any media about this online, then please report this to the British Transport Police and Greater Anglia as soon as you can so we can act to prevent a fatal accident.”

Richard Tew, Network Rail’s head of route safety for Anglia, added: “Train surfing or trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous and anyone who does this risks serious injury or death.

“Hanging on to a train or accessing the track really isn’t worth it, whether it’s for thrill seeking, to take a short cut, or to avoid paying the fare. The consequences will be devastating for everyone involved, so just don’t take the risk.”

Some people have also been filming themselves while train surfing and uploading the footage to YouTube.

- Do you have any experiences of train surfing? Contact reporter Donna-Louise Bishop by emailing Donna-Louise.Bishop@archant.co.uk or ringing 01603 772326.

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